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Thread: LANDLORD MILKING ME DRY

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    Angry LANDLORD MILKING ME DRY

    Is it a tenants responsibility to pay Rates and Taxes?

    I am renting a commercial building for R28 000 per month excluding Water and Lights of which I am satisfied with. I paid the utilities as per Statement not being aware that I am also paying rates and taxes for the Landlord. I was wondering why I was paying so much on water and lights. With this finding I approached the Landlord and explained to him that for the past 17 months I have been servicing his account, If possible can He refund my R7283.56 X 17 for same as it is not my responsibility as per Lease Agreement. His answer was "I don't wanna be involved". what must I do to recover my loss?

    The municipality had cut off my electricity and water due to same, PLEASE HELP.

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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    What does your lease agreement state?

    Founder of Evergrow - Helping South African business owners grow their business without the growing pains

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    my Lease says " Tenant should pay for utilities like Water, Electricity and Sewerage" not Rates and taxes.

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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    Legally, the owner of a property is responsible for the rates and taxes. While landlords can recover this cost from their rental, this needs to be stipulated clearly in the lease. If your lease agreement makes no mention of rates and taxes, then your landlord is responsible by default.

    Meet with your landlord and, as civilly as possible, point out that he is responsible for the rates and taxes per the terms of your lease agreement. Hopefully he responds with reason. If not, you will have to escalate matters to enforce your rights.

    Founder of Evergrow - Helping South African business owners grow their business without the growing pains

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    If the utility bill is in the name of the tenant, I'm curious as to how the rates ended up on the utility bill in the first place.

    Or is the utility bill in the name of the landlord?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    I do not think the Rental Tribunal works for commercial properties. I suggest you write your LL a strong formal letter asking for a refund failing with you accounce legal action. Maybe that makes him more compeleled to "get involved". Or maybe just ask him to pay services fro a while for you until you are even. Why does LL not want to get involved? Is there an agent maybe? If so appoach the agent.

    Did you never see the rates on that account?
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    The utility bill is in the name of the Landlord, According to the Landlord I should pay everything that appears on the bill. I pay for water, Electricity,Rates and Taxes, Pikitup and Sundry charges. I approached him again about same, he told me that all his tenants pay the total amount that appears on the bill, If I am not happy I must vacate his premises.

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    Gold Member Houses4Rent's Avatar
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    It is immaterial what his other tenants do and what he says. Its material what the written and signed lease states.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadness View Post
    The utility bill is in the name of the Landlord, According to the Landlord I should pay everything that appears on the bill.
    As all the others have said, what counts is what is in the lease agreement.

    Look, when it comes to commercial leases, the tenant being responsible for the rates over and above the rent is not unusual. I lease from Growthpoint, and I have to pay my share towards rates as well as maintenance etc. on top of the agreed rental portion. But it's in the lease agreement and I get invoiced for all that stuff by Growthpoint.

    The municipality bills the rates to them as the landlord.
    My company gets billed directly by the municipality for the utility bill.

    But there is another issue I see lurking here too.
    If you're VAT registered, with the bill being in the name of the landlord you can't claim any input VAT on that bill.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Something tells me that you have a month to month lease??? Correct?

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